Using TeslaFi To Add "Features" - What's Your Favorite?

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littlD

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#1
All,

I recently setup TeslaFi to start the HVAC on a regular schedule.

Got me wondering, that's a "Feature" I would have wanted Tesla to add to the car.

TeslaFi's schedule capability gives me some easy access to the car's API.

Maybe we can share ours here...
 

Bokonon

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#5
Now that Winter is Coming™, and we know more about how cold weather affects the Model 3 and ways to mitigate those effects, I'm going to give the command sequence below a try for my 8am departure tomorrow. My car is currently plugged in and charged to 55%, and the goal is to have a warm battery, warm cabin, and about 60% charge by the time I leave.

7:27am - Wake
7:29am - Set Charge Limit = 62%
7:30am - Start Charging
7:55am - Set HVAC Temperature = 68
7:55am - Start HVAC

I start the sequence with the Wake command due to the experience reported here, where the car never woke up to receive a scheduled charging command. Although I found a TeslaFi support ticket suggesting that it may retry commands that fail due to the car being unresponsive, the error referenced there is not the same error that you get when you try to query a car that's asleep, so it may not apply. Also, there's no penalty to sending a Wake command if the car is already awake, so I figure, why not send it?

Next, two minutes after waking the car (which can sometimes take a while), I set the charge limit to 62%. Then, a minute later, I start charging. It took just over an hour to charge my car from 45% to 55%, so I figure 30 minutes will get me close to 60%, which is where I set my daily charging limit otherwise. (I could set this to 65% or 70% if I were less confident about my departure time, but tomorrow I definitely need to be on the road by 8am...)

Finally, at 7:55am, I start preconditioning the cabin to 68 degrees, which historically has taken only about 5 minutes from the mid-30s.

Why not use the car's built-in scheduled charging feature? Apart from the undeniable fact that automating your car via TeslaFi is objectively cooler ( :cool: ), there have been reports that scheduled charging doesn't always work in the current firmware (though I have not tried it in 44.2). Additionally, my morning departure time varies widely from one day to the next, and you cannot currently change your scheduled charging time from the Tesla App, it must be done in-car... but you *can* change your TeslaFi command schedule from the comfort of your couch, possibly at 2am as you're already falling asleep from exhaustion. :)

Anyway, I'll see how it goes tomorrow and report back.
 
Last edited:

Bokonon

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#8
@Bokonon How do you schedule this through Teslafi?
Under the "Controls" menu in TeslaFi, there is a "Schedules" option that allows you to schedule commands for TeslaFi to send to your car. The Schedules screen consists of the grid that you see in post #2 of this thread. Each line in the grid corresponds to a single command that will be sent at a specific time on specific day(s). You can optionally choose to send each command only when your car is parked in a specific location, and/or when your car is specifically plugged in (or not plugged in). You can also have TeslaFi email/text you when a command is sent, along with the result of the command (e.g. succeeded or failed).

Here's what the schedule I described above looks like:

teslafischedule-png.18139


Available commands are:
  • Wake Up*
  • Flash Lights
  • Honk Horn
  • Lock Doors
  • Unlock Doors
  • Start HVAC
  • Stop HVAC
  • Set HVAC Temperature (to [x] degrees F/C)
  • Start Charging
  • Stop Charging
  • Set Charge Limit (to [x]%)
  • Plug In Reminder (sends an alert when battery is below [x]% and car is unplugged)
  • Charge Limit Reminder (sends an alert when charge limit is set above [x]%)
  • Doors Unlocked Reminder (sends an alert when the doors are unlocked)
* I'd recommend starting any command sequence with "Wake Up", followed by a 1-or-2-minute delay. Most of the other commands require your car to be awake, otherwise they will fail. The delay is important because it can sometimes take your car a minute or so to wake up, as you may have noticed when opening the Tesla app on your phone.

Important Note: TeslaFi requires your explicit permission to send commands to your car. When providing TeslaFi with your Tesla account login (or API token), you must check the "Enable Controls" checkbox below the username/password fields (if providing your login info) or below the token field (if providing the API token). It looks like this:

teslafienablecontrols-png.18138

If you did not enable controls previously when providing your credentials or token, you will need to re-enter your credentials (or provide a new token) with this box checked in order to enable controls.

Hope this helps!
 

Bokonon

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#9
7:27am - Wake
7:29am - Set Charge Limit = 62%
7:30am - Start Charging
7:50am - Set HVAC Temperature = 68
7:50am - Start HVAC
This schedule worked like a charm! (Note: I ended up moving the HVAC commands up to 7:50am when it became clear that departure would be at 7:55am, rather than 8am.)

All of the commands succeeded, except for the "Start Charging" command, which failed because the car was already charging. I'm guessing this happened because the "Set Charge Limit" command a minute earlier triggered the car to start charging on its own, so the "Start Charging" command ended up being redundant in this case.

Overnight temperatures were only in the upper 30s, and it was 41 degrees at 7:30 when TeslaFi initiated the command sequence above. Charging started as expected at 7:30am, with the battery at 54%. Though I do not see any evidence in my logs that the battery was "snowflaked" at the time, the battery was only charging at 19-20 mph (instead of 29-30 mph), suggesting that about 10-12 amps were being used to warm it up. Interestingly, this did not change when the HVAC turned on.

Net result when I unplugged at 7:55am: battery at 57%, cabin heated to 67, and roughly 60-70% regen available. Unexpected side benefit: a warm charging cable, much more flexible and easier to coil up!

All said, I'd call this a successful proof-of-concept... though it will be interesting to see what adjustments I'll need to make for low temperatures in the 20s, teens, and below. Again, the nice part is that I can adjust any element of the schedule from the warmth and comfort of my living room, so as departure times and weather reports change, I can tweak it accordingly.
 

Bokonon

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#14
Is there a reason you only charge to 62% and not the 90% default recommendation by Tesla?
I only drive 20-30 miles a day and plug in every night, so I typically set the charge limit to 60% and arrive home with 45%-ish. I chose 62% here to ensure that charging would continue until I was ready to leave, though in retrospect it didn't even make it to 60.

For daily driving Tesla recommends setting a charge limit in the 50%-90% range, depending on your daily mileage. The underlying idea is that cycling around 50% is ideal for long-term battery health (though in practice cycling anywhere between 20 and 90 is probably fine).
 

Love

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#16
Just curious why Tesla’s own app can’t do these things yet. I mean, I know why...obvious question is obvious...but it just seems like all of this (and more) is badly missing from the app.

I want to do all of this without third party consent....no offense TeslaFi.
 

FRC

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#17
I'm betting that Tesla is carefully studying Teslafi and others and will soon be implementing significant upgrades. However, that "soon" may very well turn out to be in Elontime. There was and old joke with the punchline...Patience, jackass, patience. Probably applies to all of us here.:cool:
 

Bokonon

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#18
Just curious why Tesla’s own app can’t do these things yet. I mean, I know why...obvious question is obvious...but it just seems like all of this (and more) is badly missing from the app.
I think for most Tesla owners, simply being able to schedule charging from the app just like you can in the car would be sufficient. The fact that we're not even to that point on the product roadmap is the real shocker in my book.

Inasmuch as TeslaFi is just a service running somewhere in Amazon's cloud that calls Tesla's API thousands of times a minute, you'd think that Tesla could save themselves a lot of trouble by simply buying James out and bringing TeslaFi in-house, rather than duplicating his effort and building their own TeslaFi clone from scratch. I get the sense, though, that Tesla's software team has a "Not Invented Here" bias that may prevent that from happening. We'll see...
 

Bokonon

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#19
Trivia: you cannot use TeslaFi change your car's charge limit while it's driving.

Code:
Schedule ID State     Hour      Minute    Day        Command          Setting   Result    Reason   
5840        online    17        30        Tuesday    set_charge_limit 55        Logger    Vehicle Is Driving
 

Madmolecule

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#20
Vinmates? Is anyone else interested in tracking or even "liter mate" meetups? TeslaFi might give us the ability to monitor similar issues with cars of identical builds with the same series of components. My car's vin is in the 88800's. It would be nice to know how my non gold tinted rear class compares to the earlier models with gold tint the entire window. Hopefully the components evolve for quality and not because of production constraints. I think this would be a good way to track it. It could also drive more and better recalls.